HS3 is the latest high-speed train route set to shave around 20 minutes off the trans-Pennine journey from Manchester to Leeds. West Yorkshire Combined Authority have issued a report which calls for additional stops to be included in the plans, including one in Bradford city centre.
The proposal has been welcomed by the city’s business and community leaders.
A second extra stop has been recommended to Transport for the North (TfN), who are leading the project, in York.
Concerns have been raised that the HS3 project, also called Northern Powerhouse Rail, is too narrowly focused on Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester.
The WYCA analysis of the potential economic impacts of the service have found that there would be “significant” economic benefits from an additional stop in West Yorkshire, which would likely be either in Bradford city centre, or “a parkway type facility that could serve both Bradford and other centres”.
The report says that “The evidence points to it being located in Bradford and in particular in Bradford city centre based on regeneration opportunities and benefits to the economy and the labour market.”
They also found that there would be “strong, positive regeneration impacts” which would result from a stop at York.
The WYCA has now commissioned a further report to look at options for the possible Bradford stations.
Their report also comments that there will need to be wider transport improvements alongside HS3 to ensure all areas benefit, as well as warning that it is vital that other promises made earlier this year regarding rail improvement, such as the new rail franchises which started, are not lost as a result of work on HS3.
The then Chancellor George Osbourne had promised £300m to take the proposals for HS3 and other transport in the North forward.